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AirVPN Review 2022 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying
Founded in 2010, AirVPN started as a passion project for a group of individuals dedicated to internet privacy and net neutrality. It offers a large selection of 7 subscription plans, which makes it seem like it would be a good value for money. So, I was curious to test it out and see how it works with some of the popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and others.
It offers a generous server network of 246 servers located in 22 countries. Additionally, you can choose to secure your connection with either the OpenVPN (Open SSL provides AES 256-bit encryption) or WireGuard protocol.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to properly test AirVPN because when I scanned its Windows client for viruses, it was flagged for malware.
Average privacy and security. While AirVPN claims that it does not log data, the veracity of this claim cannot be confirmed. It uses OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols with AES 256-bit encryption. But unfortunately, during my tests, its Windows installer was flagged for containing malware. Take a look at the results of my virus test here.
Straightforward to set up. The macOS, Windows, and Android apps are very easy to set up — it takes just a couple of clicks. However, routers and iOS devices will need to be set up manually. Take a look at how easy AirVPN is to set up.
Unfortunately, I was not able to properly test AirVPN’s streaming capabilities as my VirusTotal test showed that its Windows client contained malware.
So, instead, I sent an email to its customer service asking them if AirVPN works with streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Hulu. Unfortunately, I did not receive a reply from AirVPN’s customer service team, even after 3 working days.
Because I didn’t hear back from support, I decided to check out its official forum. From the customers’ posts and the staff’s replies, I found out that AirVPN doesn’t unblock any of the platforms mentioned above.
Blocked By: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max
On the forum I found a couple of posts that said AirVPN doesn’t unblock Netflix anymore.
Even the forum’s moderator agrees that AirVPN is unreliable when it comes to unblocking Netflix.
The same is also true for BBC iPlayer as many users have complained that AirVPN can’t unblock the platform. Its staff on the official forums have mentioned that AirVPN’s UK-based IP addresses are blocked by BBC iPlayer. Also, they say that Hulu blocks all of its servers.
As I couldn't install AirVPN’s Eddie client for Windows, it was impossible to test AirVPN's speeds properly.
So instead, I gathered information from AirVPN’s website and forums for a more definite set of answers.
AirVPN promises unlimited maximum speeds, but this is dependent on the server’s current load. You need only 5 Mbps for HD streaming and VPNs usually drop down your speeds by 20% or more (depending on the VPN). So, if your base speeds aren't extremely low, you should be able to have a good streaming quality with AirVPN (if you manage to unblock any platforms).
However, it guarantees that you will have a minimum bandwidth of 4 Mbps for downloads and uploads with no traffic or time limits.
Important: While most forum members have praised the service as a gaming VPN, it should also be noted that your latency is also dependent on the proximity of the server that you are connected to. Thus, the further away from the server, the higher your latency becomes.
Compared to its competitors, AirVPN has a moderately-sized server network of 246 servers spread out across 22 countries, from Austria to Japan and from Spain to Singapore.
The Netherlands has the highest number of servers at 68, closely followed by the US and Canada, with 37 and 33 servers, respectively.
From the locations shown, it’s also evident that AirVPN primarily targets users located in Europe and the US, with servers available in most major cities.
New Zealand (Auckland)
Brazil (São Paulo)
Canada (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver)
Czech Republic (Prague)
Spain (Barcelona and Madrid)
Germany (Frankfurt and Munich)
Sweden (Stockholm and Uppsala)
UK (London and Manchester)
US (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Fremont, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Pennsylvania (state), and Phoenix)
Support for users in Asia is limited with only 16 servers split between Singapore and Japan. Before July 2020, there were several Hong Kong-based servers, but these were taken down due to legal issues in China.Unfortunately, the same doesn’t apply to South American users who only have 2 Brazil-based servers, while there are no servers in the Middle East or Africa.
Given its smaller server network, you may face slowdowns during peak demand periods. Fortunately, I saw that AirVPN has a server status page that lets you view current server loads. I also liked the server issues log that provides you with an up-to-date report of any problems, the name of the affected server, and the duration. A list of past issues is also available.
AirVPN’s reply was rather vague when it came to stealth servers, but they did mention that the service offers DNS servers within the virtual network and split tunneling.
Split tunneling lets you choose what traffic (IPs) you would like to go through the VPN tunnel and what traffic to go outside the VPN tunnel (i.e., through your ISP’s servers). This is useful if you don’t need to secure all your traffic with the VPN allowing you to encrypt some data without having to sacrifice speeds for other traffic, like streaming.
AirVPN also comes with a kill switch called Network Lock — a feature that blocks all outgoing IPv4/IPv6 communications if you are suddenly disconnected from the VPN.
If it wasn’t for the malware, I would be happy with the security AirVPN offers since it provides many beneficial features.
To be extra sure since there’s no audit to prove this policy, I also sent an email to the AirVPN team to determine what data exactly is logged to maintain the service. Unfortunately, my queries went unanswered.
On the plus side, it’s good to see that AirVPN doesn’t require you to use an actual email address when you’re signing up, which helps you to avoid leaving a digital trail.
All of this is well and good, but there are several things that you should be aware of. While your data may be protected under the EU GDPR, AirVPN is owned by AirVPN di Paolo Brini, an Italian company.
And as Italy is a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance, AirVPN could be forced by the authorities to hand over information about its users to the government, if needed.
As the virus test showed that AirVPN’s Windows client contained malware, I wasn’t able to install it on my PC.
So instead, I took a look at the list of features offered by AirVPN to see if the service can be used for torrenting.
Let’s start with the good…
First of all, AirVPN’s FAQ clearly states that P2P protocols are supported, which means that torrenting is possible. Further supporting this is the fact that port forwarding (up to 20 ports simultaneously) is also available, meaning that you can configure your connection to speed up your downloads.
Also, if you’re in a country with strict internet censorship like Russia, Turkey, or Iran, AirVPN’s Tor over VPN, OpenVPN, and SSH/SSL protocols are designed to circumvent any internet restrictions.
Until recently, AirVPN had several servers based in Hong Kong, but it withdrew them after new regulations in China came into effect.
Note: Only government–approved VPNs are permitted in China. However, no tourists have been penalized for using a non-government-approved VPN there. They usually go after the VPN technology, not the people using the VPNs.
Simultaneous Device Connections — Allowed
AirVPN supports a maximum of 5 simultaneous connections on all plans. This makes AirVPN a good choice for anyone looking to get their money's worth.
AirVPN is also available for routers, thus allowing you to connect all your home devices at once.
AirVPN’s native app is known as Eddie and it is available on Windows 7, 8, and 10 (Vista and XP are not recommended), macOS, Linux (including Raspberry Pi), Android (phones and tablets), Amazon Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick.
However, the client is not available for iOS (iPhones and iPads) and Chrome OS users. Instead, you will have to set up AirVPN manually using a third-party client i.e. OpenVPN.
AirVPN also works with DD-WRT, Tomato, AsusWRT, and pfSense routers, but there is no native app available, so you will have to set it up manually. Fortunately, there are brand-specific guides available on AirVPN’s official forums to help you along the way.
If you have a PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo console, you can connect to AirVPN via router or a shared connection from a device running AirVPN. The same also applies to smart TVs like Apple TV, and streaming devices like Roku and Chromecast.
Unfortunately, AirVPN doesn’t offer browser plug-ins, so you won’t be able to use it on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Setup & Installation — Straightforward for Most Devices
AirVPN is easy to use and install for PC users and Android devices but complicated for iOS.
Windows (7, 8, and 10), Linux users, and macOS users have to:
Click on the “Download” button on AirVPN’s homepage.
Then, you’ll be prompted to choose your OS.
Once you’ve chosen your OS, you will be asked to “Choose your flavor”.
Click on the big “Download” button, and the installer will start downloading automatically.
Click on the installer file at the bottom left side to install Eddie.
Most likely not. When I contacted AirVPN’s customer service, they did not confirm whether the service could bypass Netflix’s geo-restrictions. Also, information gathered from AirVPN’s forums indicated that the VPN service cannot unblock Netflix.